This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Friday, May 06, 2016

Explaining Evil

"If she had admitted [her role] and if she had told the truth, then it would have been much better for our conscience, our pain, our satisfaction."
"The way she behaved, we're very, very mad about it. It doesn't seem right, she's not a good girl, she doesn't deserve any help."
"It is very painful, but there's nothing too much we can do about it anymore."
Mukand Pallan, 86, grieving grandfather, Victoria, British Columbia

"I was fifteen years old. I was a child. I'm not that child any more."
"I was only thinking of myself. I pushed her in. It's like almost I just thought ... it would just carry the problem away."
"She was unconscious. I didn't need to hold her head under water. There would have been no point."
Kelly Ellard, 33, Parole board hearing, May 2016
Kelly Ellard was found guilty of second-degree murder in April 2005 in her third trial, but the jury's verdict was overturned by an appeal court. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Every society has them. Psychopaths with a complete disregard for the harm they do to others. People with an inbred inability to feel compassion or care, people without conscience who act as they wish to, irrespective of the consequences. These are people capable of great harm to society, but skilled in appearing normal, and quite capable of saying the things they know others want to hear, to enable them to exonerate themselves from blame.

Absent social conscience, harbouring an attitude of entitlement, these are the people who embark on truly horrific atrocities; they are the dread serial killers discovered to have brought terror and death and sentenced to life imprisonment through the justice system. Sometimes they are not adult yet when they perform their dread atrocities. They do not suddenly become psychopathic on reaching adulthood; their pathology is with them from birth.

Kelly Ellard is one of those. And her victim, a 14-year-old girl who was desperate to be included in the social circle that Kelly Ellard queened, lost her life because she tried too hard to be accepted.
Two decades ago, that 14-year-old, Reena Virk, was an awkward, vulnerable girl anxious for social acceptance. She appeared where others of her age group had no wish to see her.

Reena Virk's body was found eight days after she was swarmed and beaten on Nov. 14, 1997. (CBC)

One evening she brought herself to where a group of teens were drinking and smoking pot not far from their high school. Her presence enraged some among the group and they swarmed and beat her while she pleaded to be let free. She ran across a bridge to escape the beating, and as she did Kelly Ellard and another teen, Warren Glowatsky followed her. And here, in a creek running under the bridge she lost her life.

An autopsy ascertained that the young girl's brain was swollen from the vicious beating she had sustained. She had taken some 18 forceful body blows. Her body was found adrift in a local inlet and her death was attributed to drowning. Both Kelly Ellard and Wayne Glowatski were found guilty of second-degree murder.

At the age of 15, a popular girl in her social circle, envied and admired by the 14-year-old, Kelly Ellard had smashed Reena Virk's head against a tree and followed that up by holding the girl's head under water until there were no more evident movements from the girl she attacked. Seeking parole and speaking before a hearing, the adult Ellard described a situation that was horrifying in its brutality.

She also said that while Matt Glowatski had been drunk he at least thought they should flag down a car for  help, but she refused. She manipulated the young man, admitting to the parole board he would not have made the choice to have Reena Virk drown; that was already known when the trials took place, and the young man who had been a reluctant partner to murder was given full parole in 2010.

When Ellard was living in a halfway house in 2004, awaiting a retrial, she had been charged with assault causing bodily harm to an older woman in New Westminster, British Columbia. Court documents testified that she was a belligerent, abusive inmate. She experienced psychotic outbursts and was anything but a model prisoner.

 Even her parole officer discouraged the board at the parole hearing from granting day parole for this unregenerate psychopath. Her substance abuse and her propensity to deflect blame for her actions on others were cited as reason enough. The board was impressed that she finally accepted responsibility for the murder, yet her obvious sense of entitlement counter-balanced that favourable reception.

"It's not speaking from your heart. It's speaking from what is most strategic and beneficial to  you", charged one of the board members. Which is precisely what psychopaths do, in reaction to a justice system that holds them to account for their crimes; attempt to manipulate the situation to make it appear that they are capable of functioning as normal people.

The other, 'normal' teens who were present that dreadful night have much to answer for in their own actions. Those who helped to beat the 14-year-old who wanted to be just like them, and those who did nothing to help the girl, assuming that among them were those who were simply 'bystanders'.                                                                                                                                       

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